|by Ryan Messick
The Eagles announced today that they signed defensive end Derrick Burgess and placed rookie defensive end Brandon Graham on the injured reserve due to his torn anterior cruciate ligament. Burgess, 32, was a third-round pick of the Eagles in 2001 and spent four years in Philadelphia.
Burgess most recently played for New England, where he recorded five sacks last season and re-signed in May. Burgess was two weeks late to training camp though, and after an unsuccessful move to outside linebacker, the Patriots released the veteran in their final round of cuts.
Burgess had six sacks for the Eagles in 2001, but injuries derailed his career for two seasons. Burgess suffered a broken bone in his foot in the first game of the 2002 season and missed the rest of the year, then missed 2003 with a torn Achilles tendon. Burgess returned to the lineup in 2004 and had 2.5 sacks, but had a stellar post-season, recording three sacks, including two of Michael Vick in the NFC Championship game against Atlanta.
That performance earned him a five-year, $17.5 million contract from the Oakland Raiders, and Burgess’s productivity skyrocketed. The Mississippi product racked up 16 sacks in 2005 and 11 in 2006, but saw his numbers drop from there. Burgess recorded eight sacks in 2007 and just 3.5 in 2008 after the departure of Warren Sapp. Burgess then failed to report to training camp and was traded to New England prior to the final year of his contract.
Burgess played in all 16 games last season with New England, starting six and finishing the campaign with five sacks.
Now in his 10th year, Burgess has 52 career sacks in 101 games, for an average of 8.2 per 16-game season. Only two familiar faces remain on the Eagles active roster from the 2004 season: safety Quintin Mikell and kicker David Akers.
Burgess is 6-foot-2 and weighs 255 pounds.